Now that the Brexit countdown has begun, the race is seemingly on for EEA nationals and their family members to confirm their immigration status in the United Kingdom. There are already lengthy waiting lists for EEA residence document applicants, and the Home Office has only recently increased the number of caseworkers handling applications. Consequently, EEA nationals and their family members looking to confirm their status are advised to carefully choose the appropriate EEA residence document for which to apply so as to not get caught up in the backlog.
EEA Residence Document: EEA Family Permit
There is a range of EEA residence document applications that it is possible to make. One of the most common is that of the EEA Family Permit, which is for non-EEA citizens who wish to join their EEA national spouse or partner living in the United Kingdom. In order to make an application for this particular EEA residence document, the EEA national needs to already be in the United Kingdom, exercising their treaty rights as a qualified person. This means that they need to be either working, looking for work, self-employed, studying or self-sufficient. The EEA national can also have permanent residence.
This particular EEA residence document is also available for family members of EEA nationals who are exercising their treaty rights in the United Kingdom, as well as the unmarried partners of an EEA national. In order to apply as the unmarried partner of an EEA national it is necessary to demonstrate that you have been in a relationship akin to marriage.
EEA Residence Document: EEA Residence Card
A non-EEA national who is a family member, or an extended family member, of an EEA national, is able to apply for a residence card. This EEA residence document will allow you to show employers that you’re allowed to work in the United Kingdom, and can help you prove that you qualify for certain benefits and services should you need them. When applying for this EEA residence document, the applicant must prove that their EEA national sponsor is a qualified person, or has a permanent right of residence, or has a retained right of residence.
EEA Residence Document: EEA Permanent Residence
Once an EEA national has been living in the United Kingdom for a certain period of time, they will be able to apply for permanent residence. This period of time is usually five years, though it could be shorter in some cases. This EEA residence document is important if you wish to apply for British naturalisation, as you will not be able to do so without one.
Usually, an EEA national doesn’t require a document to continue to reside in the United Kingdom if they are exercising their treaty rights as a qualified person. For the two years during which the Brexit negotiations are taking place, this will continue to be the case. However, once those negotiations are over and the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the European Union, the future of EEA nationals is uncertain. Due to that uncertainty, it is advisable for an EEA national who has been resident in the United Kingdom for five years to consider applying for this particular EEA residence document in order to be in the position to apply for British citizenship.
EU Passport Return Service
Usually when making a visa application, applicants need to submit their passport to the Home Office. This can be inconvenient if you have plans to go overseas or need your passport for another reason, but for those making an application for an EEA residence document it is possible to use the Home Office’s EU passport return service. This allows applicants and their family to take their passports to a participating local authority for verification and copying, and for the local authority to send the copy to the Home Office. The applicant and their family can then keep their passports during their applications.
Applicants who have submitted a permanent residence application online are able to use the EU passport return service. Applicants who wish to use the service are required to book an appointment at a local authority.
Using Legal Representation to Apply for a Residence Document as an EEA National
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to apply for an EEA residence document.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Residence Document Application for an EEA National
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.